The Bottled Water Scam

They recently installed a new bottled water machine at work. $3 for water processed in Europe and shipped to Canada. Next to the vending machine, the other ughhh option, is a water fountain- free, but processed here in toronto and shipped across town. They’re selling the bottled water like crazy.

So what is it that convinces people to pay good money for water shipped across an ocean of water? Not sure, i think its usually a misguided health concern. Toronto has one of the most modern water processing plants in the world. Maybe in a small town, infrequently, water quality is a subject of concern, but here in the big city the tap water is always safe safe safe. Look at the logistics of these two supply chains. One source is in it for profit, the other is a public service. The profit driven source provides individually packaged water, greatly increasing the ability to re-call and/or quietly deal with problems. The municipality cannot afford problems whatsoever, there are far too many people who would be quickly affected by a screwup; greater care needs to be taken by those doing the processing of tap water.

You may also worry about how many hands came in contact with your water. Sure, bottled water seems pretty well sealed, but anyone feeling malicious can easily taint it with a syringe and a spot of glue. How would you intentionally taint tap water? Dig up a city street? Storm the processing plant with an armed team? Seems far less likely. Tap water is constantly monitored and moves from the source to your mouth quickly through sealed channels. However bottled water came under the care of people at the source, those involved with shipping through several countries, and the dirty looking weirdo who distributes and fills the vending machines.

Of course there are people who say that bottled water tastes better, these people are blinded by marketing. I took psych, packaging has been proven to affect people’s perception of taste. This psychological affect is constantly exploited in packaged goods; pepsi tweeks their logo, people start claiming that the new “flavour” tastes better. This is why companies engage in ridiculousness like copywriting colour frequencies and such. Coke’s red has been highly tested to be the best tasting red out there. Bottled water is the same, it tastes better because its in a better package- but believe me its still just water. I used to brew beer in my kitchen, the tap water worked just as well as the bottled. I was reading an old Archie comic recently where they advertised a cool, fun new bottled water for kids that came in a round bottle, they called it “Aquacool” or some shit. Obviously this product flopped, cause ive never seen it. If kids cant be tricked by marketing strategies to pay for something free, why are health freaks so easily misled?

Finally, it may be the idea of where the water is coming from that distorts people’s perception. You write “authentic Italian spring” on the side and it sounds pretty clear and refreshing, but would an Italian likewise think that “Canadian fresh water lake” sounds appealing? A water processing plant is going to look like a factory, wherever it is; your bottled water was not drawn from the side of a mountain into stone buckets held by monks. Maybe its because locally we can’t help but be aware that our waste water processing is closely related to our drinking water processing. Its gross to imagine our waste flowing out into the lake and our tap water flowing back in, but this should not be a concern of yours. I hate to disgust you, but the water molecules you drink, whatever the source, were once in some dog’s ass. Also, did you know, that there is a 99% chance that at some point in your life you will breath the same air as any other person on earth. Right now you may be inhaling air molecules that once inhabited Winston Churchill, or Hitler or both. No kidding, I swear i just made up these statistics, so it must be true.

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12 Responses to “The Bottled Water Scam”

  1. exuvia Says:

    Consumers of little faith; I say walk on it whether it is bottled or not…

    What! A dog’s ass!? I’m washing my stomach right now.

    Scene 1.

    A hasty shadow of a man pans up the wall of a staircase; you can see that he is in a hurry. The typical noise of shaking old pipes – a fifties installation holding out into the next century – tells the neighbors that a washbasin is being used. -”He is a Doctor Louis, they are clean people”. Rusty water flows directly from the tap into a mouth eager to purge itself from the fatal ingestion of bottled water and within seconds the shadow kneels before the porcelain cup. -”He is sick Louis, Doctors do get sick… ”

    Scene 2.

    Open to suggestions…

    JOIN OUR WRITING TEAM FOR THE BOTTLED WATER SAGA; working title: The Dead-sea scroll.


  2. exuvia Says:

    Took a look at the first comment to your entry; looked like some one trying to say: you forgot to put this part of the text in quotes and give your reference.

    It can happen when a bolger is in a hurry.

    While you play with the dashboard you might want to redo your entry to highlight the proper quote; just to separate the personal from the source of inspiration.

    Keeping the Bolg clean; even if it needs bottled water to do the job 🙂

    This comment can just be deleted after its intention has been conveyed.

    Stay well

  3. remistevens Says:

    yea, but it made me chuckle, so your comment stays.

    I think that first comment was a pingback, although im still just learning about how that works. It was just reference to the fact that my post is up on their site- but it doesnt need to be here. Same text so its redundant.

    thanks Exuvia

  4. remistevens Says:

    My girlfriend Angela also reminded me that bottled water is more expensive than gasoline, which is ridiculous and should have gone into the post.

    Oh and theres probably a good parasite argument to be had here. If we over sterilize our water, are we pampering our immune systems and weakening our defenses? Europeans can drink our tap water in North America, but we are recommended not to drink theirs because we cant handle the biological content.

  5. exuvia Says:

    Dirty immune competent Europeans they have practically converted the EU into a virtual killing field for immune suppressed Americans who come down with diarrhea the moment they land in Paris.
    I have heard the French wash infrequently; there is the motive for splashing your body with odorous waters on Friday night; necessity is the mother of invention.
    I say Americans don’t leave home without it, bring a gallon of good Kentucky tap water strapped to your belt; avoid the European bacterial drip. The alternative is to roll around in your own backyard before you board the plane; best to leave a bit of dirt under your nails just to boost the effect during the in flight meal; and lay off on Listerine, you will hit Europe like a superhero.


  6. exuvia Says:

    Could you put an ‘r’ into virtual, just looks better…


  7. exuvia Says:

    Thanks for the previous ‘l’

    Here is a serious note. If you ever arrive in New Delhi… get bottled water! No ecological -“Tank you but I’ll drink from the river.” It’s just not worth the statement.

    No ‘h’ is missing in ‘tank you’; it’s the local pronunciation… if you wiggle your head slightly from side to side along with the phrase you will get an Indian feel.


  8. remistevens Says:

    ha ha, For several years in my late teens early twenties i “washed” my clothes with fabreze and gave my dreads a good shake every friday night.

    People on flights love it when you do a pre-boarding roll in the backyard.

    no sweat, im full of letters over here.

  9. Daymon Balser Says:

    What’s amazing is the “Water Processing Plants” are often nothing more than a spigot. Here in Southern Nevada it’s good ole’ Lake Mead water which sounds disgusting but it’s what I drink and frankly I’m proud that I don’t have to spend a nickel on it. And I’m bemused at those who do.

  10. Daymon Balser Says:

    And no one’s mentioned fluoridation… -The Good Ole Basketeere

  11. remistevens Says:

    Don’t forget all the medicines we urinate and later consume. I love hearing about that.

    Water is such a perfect and simple molecule. One day we will get our energy from water and get perfectly clean water from the production of our energy. . .wishful thinking, that may be more of a perpetual motion machine.

  12. Fixing Everything But the Price « The Remi Stevens Bolg Says:

    […] its not just the price, but how much you’re getting. Take something like dish soap. The water and container aren’t of any use to you, so lets assume when you buy a container of dish soap […]

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